The cover artwork photograph of Original Pirate Material is by German photographer Rut Blees Luxemburg called Towering Inferno. The towerblock pictured is the south face of Kestrel House on City Road, London. Completed in 1968, this is a 18 storey block of flats in Islington. It stands to a height of 55 metres.
The Streets are an English rap music project led by vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Mike Skinner.
The project has released five studio albums: Original Pirate Material (2002), A Grand Don't Come for Free (2004), The Hardest Way to Make an Easy Living (2006), Everything Is Borrowed (2008), Computers and Blues (2011), an internet-only album Cyberspace and Reds (2011) and a string of successful singles in the mid-2000s, including "Has It Come to This?", "Fit but You Know It", "Dry Your Eyes", "When You Wasn't Famous" and "Prangin' Out".
Mike Skinner sent a demo tape to a record shop in north London, run by A&R Nick Worthington. The song developed into Skinner's first single, "Has It Come to This?", and was released under the name The Streets. The song peaked at number 18 on the UK Singles Chart in October 2001.
The Streets' debut album, Original Pirate Material, was released in March 2002. The album was successful both with critics and the general public. In the UK, the album was nominated for the Mercury Prize. Original Pirate Material was nominated for British Album of the Year, and The Streets was nominated for British Urban Act, British Breakthrough Act and British Male Solo Artist at the 2003 BRIT Awards. NME named Original Pirate Material as the third best album of 2002. Subsequent singles from Original Pirate Material include "Don't Mug Yourself", "Weak Become Heroes" and "Let's Push Things Forward".
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